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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Did Napoles contribute to Aquino’s 2010 campaign?

I can’t help but chuckle at this ABS-CBN News report which notes that intelligence officials within the administration of President Benigno Aquino III are looking at the possibility that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might be involved in a destabilization plot against the present government, using the pork barrel fund scam as their main cause célèbre.

Arroyo is currently detained in the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, where I visited her last May. She can’t even get out of the country to seek medical treatment, and yet she’s being maligned again with this? Only stupid people will buy this piece of bull. As I see it, this pronouncement is nothing but a diversionary tactic from Aquino’s minions.

First, the circumstances behind the supposed surrender of Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of this P10 billion scam, last Wednesday night is highly suspicious. Upon listening to Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s version of the story, I posted this via Facebook:

Wait a minute, Mr. Edwin Lacierda. Sa tanang buhay ko, ngayon lang yata ako nakakita ng kriminal na sinundo sa sementeryo (alinsunod sa hiling nya) at inihatid pa sa Malacanang para sumuko. Tapos, pumunta pa mismo si Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) sa Camp Crame to check on her detention suite.

Obviously, there’s nothing spontaneous about Ms Janet Napoles’ surrender last night. It seems to me that everything was well planned. Sabi ni Mar Roxas, wala daw na binibgay na special treatment para kay Napoles. E anong tawag sa nangyari kagabi?”

I guess it pays well to have a lawyer (Lorna Kapunan) who was once the boss of the president’s spokesperson. It’s not everyday that someone accused of committing a heinous crime can request to surrender to the country’s most powerful man since he’s the only one she trusts, not police officials. In fact, Napoles was given a decent welcome at the palace. She even shook Aquino’s hand!

And as if that’s not enough, Aquino and his interior secretary Mar Roxas went out of their way to personally inspect the detention facilities where Napoles will likely stay. What message is this administration sending to Filipino taxpayers like me who are right now feeling robbed? Maybe we can extrapolate on some revelations that appeared recently.

There’s no doubt that some parties would want to see Napoles eliminated. Common sense tells us that this woman could not have maintained such an intricate web of corruption on her own. In other words, instead of being seen as a mastermind, Napoles might just be an enabler used by corrupt politicians as a means to siphon government money. Though the spotlight now is focused solely on Napoles, her ties to politicians must also be strictly scrutinized. In that sense, Kapunan is right.

Entertainment writer Lolit Solis, who apparently has ties with Napoles, recently declared that she once heard her friend taking a call from now Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa asking for campaign contributions for Aquino’s 2010 presidential bid. An aide to Ochoa swiftly denied the accusation, and the Commission on Elections eventually issued a statement saying that Napoles is not listed among Aquino’s contributors.

A high ranking COMELEC official once admitted to me that the poll body has very limited capability to verify the financial reports submitted by the candidates. Ask yourself this – what if Napoles did not want to disclose her identity? Solis may not be a paragon of virtue, but her statement must not be dismissed outright.

Corruption scandals are nothing new to the Philippine political scene. Big names had been dragged to such controversies over the years. So, what makes the latest scandal centring on business proprietor Janet Lim-Napoles so scandalous that made people literally get out of the streets?

First, the P10 billion price tag being bandied is just so staggering. Plus, Napoles’ daughter Jean shamelessly flaunted her opulent lifestyle through her social media accounts. Then, adding insult to injury is the fact that the entire scandal came to light during Aquino’s term, a man who ran on the platform of eliminating corruption.

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WALANG PASOK: August 22 2013

Citing the effects of heavy monsoon rains the past five days. several local government units (LGUs) and education institutions once more decided to cancel classes for Thursday, August 22. Others went as far as suspending classes for Friday. It is expected that other LGUs and schools will make similar announcements within the next hours. Credits to ABS-CBN for this partial list:

  • Makati (until Friday, August 23; all levels – public and private)
  • Pasay City (until Friday, August 23; all levels – public and private)
  • Caloocan (all levels)
  • Marikina (all levels)
  • Taguig (all levels, until August 23)
  • Manila (all levels)

 

 

 

 

  • Malabon (until Friday, August 23)
  • Valenzuela (until Friday, August 23; preschool to high school – public and private)
  • Muntinlupa (until August 23, preschool to high school)
  • Laguna (until Friday, August 23; all levels – public and private)
  • Mandaluyong (preschool to high school – public and private)
  • Pasay
  • Paranaque (all levels – public and private)

Schools:

  • Asia Pacific College
  • Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Paranaque and Laguna campuses; suspended until Friday, August 23)
  • St. Scholastica’s College – Manila (office work to resume)
  • Saint Francis of Assisi College (all levels in all campuses)
  • Valenzuela Polytechnic University

(The list will be updated from time to time. You can also use the government website as a guide.)

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#WalangPasok – August 20 2013

Metro Manila

  1. Caloocan City (preschool to high school)

  2. Las Piñas City (all levels)

  3. Makati City (all levels)

  4. Malabon City (all levels)

  5. Mandaluyong City (preschool to high school)

  6. Manila City (all levels)

  7. Marikina (preschool to high school)

  8. Muntinlupa City (all levels)

  9. Navotas City (preschool to high school)

  10. Pasay City (all levels)

  11. Parañaque City (all levels)

  12. Pateros City (all levels)

  13. Pasay (all levels)

  14. Quezon City (all levels)

  15. San Juan City (all levels)

  16. Taguig City (all levels)

  17. Valenzuela City (preschool to high school)

    typhoon maring PH

    Typhoon Maring has intensified the southwest monsoon in Luzon.

By Province

  1. Province of Bataan (all levels)

  2. Province of Cavite (all levels)

  3. Province of Laguna (all levels)

  4. Province of Pangasinan (preschool to high school)

  5. Hagonoy, Bulacan (preschool to high school)

  6. Malolos, Bulacan (preschool to high school)

  7. Meycauayan, Bulacan (all levels)

  8. Obando, Bulacan (all levels)

  9. Dagupan, Pangasinan (all levels)

  10. Angono, Rizal (preschool to high school)

  11. San Mateo, Rizal (preschool to elementary)

  12. San Fernando Pampanga (all levels)

School Specific

  1. De La Salle University – Dasmariñas (all levels and office operations)

  2. De La Salle University – Taft and STC Campuses (all levels and office operations)

  3. Far Eastern University – Manila; FEU East Asia College; and FEU Makati (all levels and office operations)

  4. Mapúa Institute of Technology (all levels)

  5. Makati Medical Center College

  6. Perpetual Help – College of Manila (all levels)

  7. Philippine Women’s University – PWU Taft, PWU HS, JASMS INDIANA, JASMS QC (all levels and office operations)

  8. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Bataan (all levels)

  9. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Parañaque (all levels)

  10. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Maragondon (all levels)

  11. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – San Pedro, Laguna (all levels)

  12. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Mesa, Manila (all levels)

  13. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Rosa, Laguna (all levels)

  14. Saint Francis of Assisi College (all levels, all campuses)

  15. San Pedro College of Business Administration (all levels)

  16. San Sebastian College – Recoletos, Manila (all levels and office operations)

  17. University of Perpetual Help – Biñan Campus (all levels)

  18. University of Santo Tomas (all levels and office operations)

  19. Lyceum of the Philippines University – Cavite (all levels)

  20. Lyceum of the Philippines University – Manila (all levels)

  21. Xavier School Nuvali (all levels)

  22. La Verdad Christian College, Caloocan

  23. St. Paul University, Manila

  24. UP Los Baños

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2Go Group on MV St Thomas Aquinas sea tragedy

Alongside 2GO Group’s ongoing search and rescue operations, the company is also addressing and containing the oil spill coming from the sunken m/v St. Thomas Aquinas by flying in global oil spill experts to professionally handle the situation in the Lawis Ledge in Talisay, Cebu as part of the company’s commitment to the environment.

On Aug. 17, the day after the ship sank, 2GO Group deployed two Malayan towage tugboats at the site to contain an anticipated oil spill. One of the tugboats is properly equipped with machineries, materials and supplies against oil spills such as the 400 meter oil spill boom, including oil skimmer; solvent boom pads to absorb oils from the water surface; 4 bales of booms and pads and drums of chemical dispersants. In short, 2GO is taking all steps to contain any possible oil spills from the ship’s sinking.

MV St Thomas  Aquinas

2GO Group has released a statement about the sea mishap involving their vessel MV ST Thomas Aquinas (Credits: Flickr)

The company is also flying in four Japanese technical divers to augment its own complement and local divers from the Philippine Navy and the Coast Guard. A Japanese salvage master is being flown in to help expertly contain the spill. This Japanese salvage master has helped in massive global oil spills.  In addition, an expert from the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) will also be flying in to Cebu to help assess the situation.

2GO is taking this pro-active stance to ensure that the St. Thomas Aquinas’ sinking will not aggravate in any way the marine ecosystem of Talisay and other water bodies in Cebu.

The ferry had 20,000 liters of diesel fuel and 120,000 liters of bunker or crude fuel in the ship’s fuel tank and 20,000 liters of lube oil that were being used by the engines when it was running.

M/V St. Thomas Aquinas carried mostly agricultural products from Mindanao since the vessel came from Surigao and Nasipit port. There were no cargos marked as “Dangerous Goods.”

(This is a press release sent by the company to The Filipino Scribe.)

 

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August 19 2013 class suspensions – Typhoon Maring

With the state weather bureau warning of heavy rainfall in some parts of Luzon for the next several hours, local government units in several cities and municipalities have announced the suspension of classes for tomorrow, August 19.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Metro Manila, Bataan, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas will experience heavy to intense rains until Monday. This weather condition is caused by southwest monsoon (habagat) enhanced by Typhoon Maring.

Here’s a list of class suspensions from ABS-CBN News:

typhoon maring PH

Typhoon Maring has intensified the southwest monsoon in Luzon.

* Caloocan — All levels, both private and public

Las Pinas – No classes from pre-school to high school

Makati – All levels, both public and private

Malabon – No classes in all levels

Mandaluyong – No classes pre-school to high school, both public and private

Manila — No classes up to high school

* Marikina — All levels, both private and public

Muntinlupa – No classes from pre-school to high school

Pasay – No classes from pre-school to high school

Pasig – No classes for pre-school and kinder

Pateros — No classes in all levels, both private and public

Paranaque – No classes in all levels

San Juan — No classes in all levels

Taguig – No classes from pre-school to high school

Valenzuela — No classes from pre-school to high school

– No classes for Wawang Pulo Elementary School and Wawang Pulo National High School; Pasolo Elementary School; and Caruhatan National High School

Other areas:

Bataan – No classes in all levels

* Benguet — No classes in all levels, both private and public

Bocaue, Bulacan — No classes in all levels

Hagonoy, Bulacan – No classes from pre-school to high school

Malolos, Bulacan – No classes from pre-school to high school

Marilao, Bulacan — No classes in all levels

Obando, Bulacan — No classes in all levels

Cavite – No classes from pre-school to high school

Laguna — No classes in all levels

Olongapo – No classes from pre-school to high school

Angeles, Pampanga – No classes from pre-school to high school

Antipolo, Rizal – No classes from pre-school to high school

Cainta, Rizal — No classes in all levels

Rodriguez, Rizal — No classes in all levels

San Mateo, Rizal – No classes from pre-school to high school

Taytay, Rizal — No classes in all levels

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LTO chief Virginia Torres caught on video gambling?

A purported thirty second clip of Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres playing slot machine inside an unidentified casino has been uploaded on the video sharing site YouTube. The video, apparently recorded secretly, has been uploaded last August 13 by YouTube user “Juan Dela Cruz.” See it below:

Torres, clad in checkered blouse, pink leggings, and rubber shoes, can be seen in the clip resting her legs in the lower part of the machine. The uploader of the video did not provide any details about Torres’ stay in the casino. If the clip was taken during her tenure as LTO chief, Torres may be held liable for violating Memorandum Circular 20, series of 1986.

MC 20 mandates that “government officials connected directly with the operation of the government or any of its agencies” are not allowed to play at the gambling casinos. The memorandum was signed during the term of President Benigno Aquino III’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

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